News / Africa

Kenya Opposition Dialogue Demands, Outside Constitution, Says Official

Former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Oringa (file photo)
Former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Oringa (file photo)
Peter Clottey
Kenya’s presidential spokesperson is questioning a demand by former prime minister and main opposition leader Raila Odinga for dialogue with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government by July 7.

Odinga also wants the administration to come up with a timetable for the withdrawal of the country’s troops from neighboring Somalia, where soldiers have been battling the Islamist militant group al-Shabab.

Manoah Esipisu says the opposition leader’s demands are outside of the provisions enshrined in the constitution, which he said provides avenues for dialogue as part of an effort to resolve challenges the country faces.

“It’s one of those demands one looks at and wonders why there should be any demands in the first place,” said Esipisu. “We do believe that we are not in a position where Mr. Odinga could be asking for a forum outside from those ones that are allocated within the constitution.”

Supporters of the former prime minister say the government should take advantage of the demands for dialogue, which they argue could be used to lessen ethnic divisions and tension that often lead to violence.

Esipisu says the administration welcomes any advice that could help find solutions to resolve the country’s challenges, but adds that the opposition leader’s demand for dialogue with subsequent ultimatum is unfortunate.

“If you want to be part of the inclusive nature of dialogue that leads to something then you cannot be attempting to force that dialogue to happen. I think you’ve got to be respectful about it you’ve got to be civil about it,” said Esipisu.

Supporters of the government have accused the opposition leader of trying to foment trouble by creating tension to destabilize the country following his demand for dialogue, despite accepting defeat in Kenya’s last general election.

Meanwhile, some analysts have called for a full scale investigation and the prosecution of community leaders and politicians who are alleged to have incited the youth to violence that led to recent ethnic clashes in parts of the country.

Esipisu says the government has increased security presence in areas which recently saw ethnic clashes.

“Investigations are underway in areas where these have happened. The government does take these things seriously,” said Esipisu. “In Lamu, for instance, we have sent hundreds of police reinforcement to comb the area, bring the perpetrators of this violence to justice.”

“We have in quite a few instances, our director of public prosecution have asked quite a number of politicians to report to police stations to record statements about the speeches that are considered hate speech or hate mongering,” said Esipisu. “Those that are found to be guilty of these offenses will be dealt with in terms of the law.”

You May Like

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Samuel
June 26, 2014 1:37 PM
Please train yourself in Constructively Cotribute to issues however painful they could be. When all burn Kenya where will we and our children live.

by: beste from: nairobi
June 25, 2014 11:19 AM
Jubilee Govt is full of tribalists, and thieves. President Uhuru seems to be enjoying the mess that hes creating in Kenya. Insecurity has gone overboard yet he won't fire anyone.
He's also giving jobs to just 2 tribes Kikuyu and Kalenjin

by: Innuendo Kamande from: Nairobi
June 25, 2014 8:58 AM
Ethnic tension is building up in Kenya and could explode anytime. The Jubilee government of Uhuru and Ruto are dividing literally everything between Kikuyus and Kalenjins leaving 42 other tribes, which comprise 60% of the population, with nothing. Insecurity and corruption are not helping either. Kenya is a powder keg waiting to happen!

by: jose from: nai
June 25, 2014 6:10 AM
stupid opposition it time you live our country in peace

by: jack thomas
June 25, 2014 2:31 AM
raila is just a lazy idle audience seeker.

by: frejojo from: NAIROBI
June 25, 2014 1:06 AM
its true, constitutional avenues are wide and varied and opposition figure has not attempted any , his agenda must be conclusively equals to chaos. In the new constitution there is a parliament in every county(regardless of the fact Kenya is too small comparatively), and taking into account that when a problem starts of any nature discussion should start at the county level, and could only become national if recommended by the necessary county as provided by the constitution , Odinga has not attempted any constitutional means.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More